For many years, screen reading solutions (both for synthetic speech and refreshable Braille) have been available in English and in other major world languages. These solutions have allowed blind people to operate a PC, and thus benefit from all facilities that can be accessed on a PC, at home, in education and in the workplace.
Such solutions have not been available in Irish until now!
The ABAIR team are now in the testing phase of a major new development taking place regarding accessibility to the Irish language for people with a visual impairment.
The NVDA screen reader has been enabled for Irish. NVDA, which is a high-quality, free open source screen reader (www.nvaccess.org), has been enabled to support Irish in a number of ways. This Irish solution is now in its final testing phase. Very importantly, the entire software solution is available free of charge.
NVDA now supports the Irish language by,
- The synthetic speech sounds like a native Irish speaker.
- A PC user with a Braille Display unit can display and read Irish text in Braille.
- All NVDA’s menus, dialog boxes and messages can be displayed in Irish.
ABAIR is actively looking for anyone who would like to test this system. Feedback from users is essential to continue to develop and improve all aspects of this Irish solution. Please contact ABAIR at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to try out the system or if interested in getting involved in this research.
ABAIR is an initiative in Trinity College, Dublin, funded by An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta, and by the NCBI-ABAIR project.